The music side of South by Southwest can be overwhelming. With more than 500 bands playing over six days, there’s no way you can see them all. SXSW has released a list of performers, and while there are some familiar names, most are completely new to me. I sorted through the list and came up with a few bands you should see. I haven’t heard any of their music or seen their pictures, but these are the top seven bands to see at SXSW based on name alone.

3 Dudes & a Mullet (Mexico City, Mexico)
Who they probably are: As the name suggests, three gentlemen on guitar, bass and drums, and a disembodied, floating hockey haircut on lead vocals.
Why you should see them: Because this may be your last chance to see them before the mullet goes solo, citing creative differences (adding a single beaded braid).

Just a Band (Nairobi, Kenya)
Who they probably are: Nothing special. Or maybe they just called themselves that because they’re totally great and they were being ironic. Or maybe that’s what they want you to think and they’re actually just a band. Or maybe they know that’s what you’ll think and you’ll be shocked by how good they are... and so on.
Why you should see them: Because they’re either really humble or total jerks.

Lilly Wood and the Prick (Paris, France)
Who they probably are: A beautiful, fragile, pale woman and her bitter ex-boyfriend.
Why you should see them: Because you know he’s gonna be late and have a bad attitude. Then he’s gonna have a meltdown on stage and you’ll swoop in and pick up the pieces, and become the future Mr. or Mrs. Lilly Wood.

Turbo Fruits (Nashville, Tenn.)
Who they probably are: Well, this could be anything but I’m picturing a southern cowpunk band with mustaches and sideburns.
Why you should see them: Because what if it’s actually bananas wearing jetpacks?

You Can't Win, Charlie Brown (Lisbon, Portugal)
Who they probably are: Sad European bald guys playing mopey jazz and falling for Lucy’s football prank (or “soccer prank,” as it’s called in Portugal).
Why you should see them: Because Someone Still Loves You, Boris Yeltsin.

ALO (Animal Liberation Orchestra) (San Francisco, Calif.)
Who they probably are: The indie rock wing of PETA, but I’m picturing them wearing Polyphonic Spree-style choir robes for some reason.
Why you should see them: Because they will probably bring a bunch of cages full of cats on stage and let them loose mid-show, and then hey – yarn solo.

Väljasõit Rohelisse (Tallinn, Estonia)
Who they probably are: The next Sigur Ros. Mind you, I just made that up based on nothing. Still, that’s the buzz I’m hearing (no, it’s not).
Why you should see them: For their presumably charming accents and to hear their future hit, “(We’ve Gotta) Cross the Ts, Dot the Is, Umlaut the As, and Put that Squiggle Over the Os.”

Related Links

SXSW 2012 Announced Bands

posted by Dave Shumka on Mar 12, 2012